Progress Towards Unification

North and South Korea to be under one flag at the 2018 Winter Olympics


An agreement surfaced on January 17 when North and South Korea announced they will be forming a joint team for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Their women’s ice hockey team will be the first unified team since their athletes played together for an international table-tennis championship and a youth soccer tournament in 1991, according to The New York Times. South Korea, the host country for the Olympics this year, will be the first ever country to not have their flag flown at the opening ceremony, according to Fox News.

However, this path towards a more unified Korea has not been completely smooth. On January 22 protests in Seoul broke out after a popular North Korean singer, Hyon Song Wol, traveled to observe venues, according to Time Magazine. Wol is also the woman in charge of North Korea’s artistic performance during the Olympics. Protesters went to burn portraits of Kim Jong Un, the North Korean flag and the unified flag that will be used during the Olympics.

Despite these protests, the International Olympic Committee, or IOC, believes that it was an extraordinary step in finding competition spots for North Korea, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“The Olympic Winter Games Pyeongchang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula and inviting the world to join in a celebration of hope,” IOC President Thomas Bach said, according to the Los Angeles Times.

President Trump has since been supportive of the two countries coming together to be unified in some form.

“President Moon (Jae-in) called me and we had a great discussion a couple of days ago, and he thanked me very much, and I hope it works out,” Trump said in a press conference, according to CNN Politics. “I very much want to see it work out between the two countries. I’d like to see them getting involved in the Olympics and maybe things go from there, so I’m behind that 100 percent.”

The world will have to wait and see how these two countries work together in their effort to bring home gold medals for the Peninsula, and if this interaction between North and South grows towards an eventual unification.